Don Norman on Aesthetics

By Deane Barker on November 26, 2003

Emotion and Design: This is another essay from Don Norman that’s very similar to the previous one we talked about a few months ago. This quote is interesting, and I wish I had it back when I had to defend my black-and-white Palm V from the PocketPC drones at my last workplace (you know who you are…).

My studies of cognition showed that color computer displays (or color TV, for that matter) offered no information advantage over black and white. But I would never go back to black and white computer displays or black and white television. So too should we not go back to ugly, ill-designed things. Heretical or not, it is time to have more pleasure and enjoyment in life. Although the cognitive analyses of usability and function are important, so too is the affective analysis. Let the future of everyday things be ones that do their job, that are easy to use, and that provide enjoyment and pleasure.